Obviously, this a a hot topic (moved to HOT TOPIC section ^^). We acknowledge that there are issues of Short vs. Serial comics. Although our homepage/features may look static, we are constantly developing and testing new methods (we do this all day, every day). This includes how we can give more attention to Serial comics. But honestly, this is an extremely minor problem compared to many many others. Let me try to explain why:
1) Try to understand the BIG PICTURE. There is a mismatch between a creator's experience on Tapastic and a reader's experience on Tapastic. Many creators use PC/Laptops to make and upload comics, which is also the reason they tend to view their Tapastic's web experience as everyone else's experience. The fact is that most readers are on mobile. This is the reason we've been improving the publishing experience on PC/Laptops. However, we're focusing the reading experience on mobile (more improvements are coming). We want to improve discovery on mobile more in the future (doesn't mean that we are dropping web, of course).
2) Mobile is key to getting everyone more subscribers. Mobile is where readership and subscription will scale in today's world. Want to help more comics to get discovered? Download Tapastic app and also get more people to download our apps. Help us improve our apps more than the web. We barely get any feedback on apps than our web from creators. Please don't single out one feature such as Best New Webcomics section as the main way to get discovered. Think bigger...much much bigger - How do we increase the overall readers to give more subscribers to everyone to share. For example:
If everyone helps get more Tapastic app downloaded => Tapastic app ranking will shoot up in App stores => More people will discover Tapastic => More people (millions of people) will discover new webcomics => Most creators' subscription will not increase by 10 or 100, but thousands and millions.
If everyone thinks bigger than his/her own series, we can all help completely change the indie comic industry. It'll take a collective effort. Tapastic is a self-publishing platform and YOUR COMMUNITY. Don't think of us as a controlling publisher or a company. Tapastic is what the creators make of it. If Tapastic grows, that means you have grown collectively as a group.
3) This is probably the most important point I'm going to make (and perhaps even get criticisms). Most comic creators need to completely change comic creation/production method to fit the digital / web / mobile age we live in today. In the past 2 years, we learned that the majority of comic creators are traditionalists or at least think like one. You see what "the big names" or creators who made-it have been doing for decades and believe that copying them is the right way. You see theOatmeal, SMBC, XKCD, etc. have their own websites, so many choose to follow. Comics industry is like any other industry - it changed and will continue to change. You need to adapt. Drop the traditionalist mindset and explore new ways to appeal to the mass w/ your story. You need to be trendsetters, not trendfollowers. Let me try to explain with some examples:
Example #1 - Youtube stars. Some Youtube stars are even more powerful and Hollywood stars today. There are so many actors, writers, editors, musicians, etc. who continue to take the traditional path of becoming stars by submitting their work to big studios and pray to get selected. Others chose to work diligently via self-publishing platforms like Youtube and experimented and took care of their fans...one-by-one. These individual artists collectively made Youtube bigger paving a new way to discover the next "star." They didn't make a movie or a sitcom. They completely invented new content and stories that appealed to the masses. The collective video creator community is what made Youtube, not the other way around. Youtube was a small platform in the beginning like Tapastic is today.
Example #2 - Imagine if someone said he or she wants to build a website to manage their own social network today. You would probably laugh today. However, back in the days (I'm not sure if you are old enough to know), but we had Geocities or similar web services. I like to think of Geocities as social media version 1.0 - you make your own page and try to connect with other friends with webpages. It made sense back then, but it doesn't make any sense today. A lot of comics stuff made sense yesterday, but it doesn't make sense today. When some of top webcomic creators started, they made their own homepages, for example, because they didn't have much options - many well-known webcomics started in the 90's or mid-2000s. These are the days before Tapastic, Tumblr, Instagram... It was before Facebook even had Feeds or images. Similarly, many comic creator made comic "pages" because web wasn't available long time ago and print was the option available to get your content out to the world. Obviously, web has changed all that in late 90's and early 2000s. Mobile is changing everything today and it's an opportunity for trendsetters to get ahead by creating something different and unique.
Example #3 - Probably the most relevant. How online comics completely revolutionized comics industry in Korea with webtoons. Simple put, traditionalists faded away. New comics stars were born every week. These new comic stars made content unlike anything seen in the past. These new comics stars collectively one-upped each other to make even more creative comics and the market exploded. Many comic creators in Korea don't even understand that it was a collective effort. Comic creators collective Daum and other services to what it is today in Korea, not the other way around...just like Youtube.
4) Some issues we see (mostly reiterating some points mentioned above):
Problem #1 - Just reiterating. Creator who adapt the mobile have a big opportunity. We see it everyday that growth for mobile-friendly formatted comics are faster on Tapastic. Of course, just mobile-friendly comics is not the only variable in the equation; great story, great art, unique styles (experimenting), a creator's willingness to take care of each and every fan, etc. all play into the factor.
Problem #2 - Research/experiment with your comic is huge. I know that many creators are so emotionally tied to Series that is not working (I understand why). However, if you closest friends or even other creators on Tapastic are not reading yourself, maybe it's time to try something different. We see people planning out a comic for the next 5 years of their lives. If you are happy making stories without much readership, it's your time and I understand. However, if you are the type of a creator who dream of making comics for a living, it's important to build readership. I've talked to some successful creators and many have said they just decided to make something like 20 chapters / episodes (not a huge investment of their time). If it works out, then they decide to make Season 2. If it doesn't work out, then have something else.
I believe a lot people make the mistake of thinking, "Oh, this is not the community for my comic," and jump from one place to another. I want to say that Tapastic is an amazing community with thousands of creators who check out each other's comic. I talk to creators all the time but @michaelson of course talks to even more. Feel free to reach out to the staff and community and we'll help by providing honest feedback. Featuring on front page seems to be a big deal (I understand why), but in the long run, it's your comic and your participation that will drive readership growth.
- Problem #3 - We need collective effort. Today, there is still a lack of collective effort. It's improved big time over the years, but we definitely need more. If we have more of WE WE WE instead of ME ME ME mentality and help promote each other with honestly recommendation of what's good, our community will grow together and provide more opportunities for all creator and also you.
I guess I went way off-topic of Best New Webcomics, but I hope everyone can see that we have a much much bigger challenge ahead of us than featuring one comics over another. Tapastic staff is not trying to be picky. We don't play favoritism. Our hope is to have more readers visit Tapastic, spend more time on Tapastic, and discover more great comics created by our creator community. We want each user to add more comics to their Reading List. We want each user to comment and like more comics to show appreciation. Similar to your comic, Tapastic will continue to evolve to what is trending today and we will do our best to develop tools that will be helpful for both creators and readers.